Artist Spotlight: Emma Ralph

claricebeadcloseup.jpgUK artist Emma Ralph has branched off into many mediums in her beadmaking explorations over the years, but she is still best known for her work in polymer clay.  Collected by jewelry designers around the world, Emma’s work has appeared in numerous publications and in her own polymer clay books, Get Creative with Polymer Clay and Step by Step Polymer Clay in a Day. 

In today’s artist spotlight Emma shares a little bit about her creative journey and inspiration.

What was your first polymer clay project?

I first used Fimo when I was a kid, around 8 or 9 years old. I used it to make a brooch, wrapping some black clay around a “bouquet” of beads on headpins. It looked quite funky as it happens! I must re-create that project one day. But I didn’t really start to use Fimo in earnest until my teens when I started to use it to make beads.

Besides a pasta machine, what polymer clay tool can’t you live without? Wooden toothpicks are my most used tool I think. I use them for piercing beads, supporting beads if I am varnishing them and so on. I also would have a hard time living without my tissue blades and my Kato marxit tool!

What inspires your polymer clay creations?

I have always been inspired by art, craft and the history of design. So really, living in the UK its hard to find something that doesn’t inspire you creatively. With polymer clay though, it is colour that does it for me. I find clay such a perfect medium to explore colour that really I can’t see beyond that these days. My beads are all about playing one colour against another – I never seem to get bored and find myself dreaming up the perfect “Holy Grail” colour combinations!

Would you share a color recipe with us?

I love to mix custom colours to use as the base of my beads or as canework accents. Particularly I like to mix my colours with a fleshtone base – it creates the most wonderful muted colours. Another favorite trick is to mix a touch of a colour’s complementary colour in with it. It somehow breathes a bit of life and soul into the colour. Try mixing just a touch of orange into apple green – delicious! Just like the leaves of a beech tree in Spring.

You can view more of Emma’s beautiful work on her website.


[tags]polymer clay, beads, art beads, Emma Ralph, jewelry[/tags]

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